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SCC Aviation Faculty Chosen to be part of Kentucky Safety Team

aviation facultyThe Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently selected two Aviation Maintenance Technology professors from Somerset Community College to serve on the FAA’s Kentucky Safety Team (FAASTeam). David Phelps and Jerry Graham, both associate professors, were selected for the team because of their aviation knowledge, technical knowledge and familiarity of the local aviation community.

According to the FAA, team members work closely with FAASTeam program managers to active promote safety. The FAASTeam representative’s may:

  • Conduct or assist in FAASTeam events,
  • Encourage pilots to participate in the WINGS Pilot Proficiency Program,
  • Encourage aviation maintenance technicians to participate in the William (Bill) O’Brien Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) Awards Program,
  • Identify hazards or unsafe conditions with regard to airports and the national airspace system and make appropriate notifications,
  • Counsel airmen using a variety of methods, including one-on-one meetings and large educational events, and
  • Offer assistance and provide information to pilots who seek aid in transiting or operating in the representative’s area.

About David Phelps

David Phelps, a resident of Bronston, has been teaching at SCC for 24 years. Before he began his teaching career, he was employed at Emerald Aviation in London, KY. He also worked at Interstate Coal as a helicopter mechanic. In addition to his time in London, he worked at Comair Airlines in Cincinnati.

Phelps holds a FAA airframe and power plant license, FAA inspection authority, a certification as a heavy maintenance technician on Pratt and Whitney turbo props, is flight safety certified on the Cessna Citation Jet series of business jets and is one of only two FAA Technical Personnel Examiners in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. In total, Phelps has spent 32 years in aviation and enjoys passing on his passion to students in the program at SCC.

About Jerry Graham

Jerry Graham worked over 10 years as an aircraft mechanic before coming to teach at SCC. His prior experience includes working at Kentucky Flying Service in Louisville, S&P Aviation Services and Cumberland Valley Aviation.

Graham obtained his private pilot license in 1991 and has been teaching at SCC for 17 years. A native of Louisville who now calls Somerset home, Graham said safety has to be the top priority for anyone involved in flying.

“Aviation safety is of extreme importance to all involved for the safety of flight,” said Graham. “I am meticulous in my work as an aircraft mechanic, as all should be, and incorporate craftsmanship and take pride in my work. These traits are what I try to pass along to students and others in this industry. (As a member of the FAASTeam) we work with the FAA to put on seminars, etc. for others in this industry to promote and incorporate safety.”

To find out more about the Aviation Maintenance Technology program at SCC, contact Phelps at or call (606) 451-6838.